BOSTON (April 1, 2014) — Simmons College presents Rarified, an exhibit of drawings by Rebecca Doughty and Alice O'Neill April 22—May 30 at the Trustman Art Gallery, located on the fourth floor, Main College Building, 300 the Fenway in Boston. A reception from 5-7 p.m. will be held on Wednesday, April 30. The artists will speak briefly about their work at 5:45 p.m. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public (closed May 9 and 26).
Rebecca Doughty and Alice O'Neill are artists exploring shape and line through an economy of means and a rigorous process. Their drawings elegantly compress form, their very spareness an invitation to respond on one's own terms.
Rebecca Doughty has long been interested in animal forms—imaginary hybrids and ones we already know. In her Inkies series, characters gambol in free-fall across the page. She focuses our awareness on the form, lively motion, and the virtuosity of her media usage. Protagonists in other works, like Profile #20, conjure an entirely different sensation. The work sits heavily on the bottom edge of the paper; deep black, somber. It is a profile — timeless as a coin portrait, but the rounded shoulders and slumping posture belie any sense of proud power. Rather, it suggests the everyman at the end of a long week battling the absurdity we call life. Doughty imposes size and media restrictions but her essentialism delightfully packs her creatures with life.
Alice O'Neill's graphite series, Playing the Fool, skillfully uses linear means to capture fundamental qualities. Her forms are simple; yet the page placement, variation in tone, and mark-making satisfy our sense of understanding something at the edges of memory. Using delicate vertical marks or small circular patterned groupings, she deftly evokes talismans dreamily remembered rather than described. O'Neill's Silence, an attenuated teardrop shape not quite centered on the page, sagging with gravity, its rounded bottom darkened with the weight of expectation, calls to mind words not said, actions not taken.
These two artists skillfully maximize feeling with a minimum of embellishment. Their aptitude in soliciting our interest in their characters and forms lies in their ability to imply much through their thorough understanding of essence.
Trustman Gallery hours are 10 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The gallery is free, open to the public, and wheelchair accessible. For more information, contact Marcia Lomedico at 617-521-2268, or visit the www.simmons.edu/trustman.
Image: Alice O'Neill, Birthday, 2012, graphite and colored pencil on paper, 18 x 14"
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